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Travelling by train in a wheelchair (2)

Hi readers, it’s me, Kerry, here again this week, writing more about my experience of train stations, following on from last week.

Some of you may know there is a national consultation about changes to train stations. It is possible Dorchester South station ticket office could be closed. I hope not, as it would be rubbish, especially for many older people and those of us with a disability.

What I also think is really important, is making Dorchester South station accessible. If it was possible to cross from one platform to another, it would be transformational for so many people. Not just people in wheelchairs, but also those carrying luggage, those with prams, anyone with mobility issues, and generally just really helpful in an increasingly ageing population like Dorchester.

I hear people have been trying to do something about it, but don’t know what. Does anyone reading this know anything…?

If Dorchester station did close, I’d really miss the chat between the station guards and signallers. It’s really interesting listening as they have their own train language, saying things like “It’s WhiskyZeroOne and I have a wheelchair user who’d like to get off at the ‘office side’’’. The ‘office side’ I have learnt is Platform One! It’s quite comforting too.

I’d like to finish with an experience I had recently waiting to get off the train. A small child beside me asked her Mum why the lady in the wheelchair needed a ramp. Her Mum replied, saying ‘well, she can’t jump’. It got me thinking that this was probably the first experience for this little girl of seeing someone getting off a train in a wheelchair, and that maybe, just through this experience, she might learn that some of us need to do things in a different way.

The writers of the Our View column are supported in their editing by People First Dorset - a charity led and run by people with learning disabilities with support from staff.

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